Trance

three cigars

Three cigars

This is one of those films that starts out great, keeps you intrigued, but then falls apart near the end.  The premise is good, the acting is good, the direction is good and then we get to the end.

One expects in a film called, “Trance”, that things will happen that are not real, or characters will find that things are not as they seem, and the viewer expects to be tricked at times.  All of these are present, just overdone.  When the film ends, the viewer is not quite sure what happened other than the character you expect to come out on top does.

This should have been a four or five cigar movie that left me thinking.  Instead, we have a three cigar film that left me saying, “really?”.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

three cigars

Three Cigars

 

So when everyone keeps telling me how great a movie is, my expectation does increase.  Having seen the trailers for Guardians, I had dismissed it as a film I did not need to see. At least, not until it was out on DVD.  But, after listening to all the raves, I decided I had better check it out.  (Note: one of the draws from the trailer was hearing “The Spirit in the Sky”  as part of the sound track).

While it is an entertaining film, it is far from the best of this type as some have claimed.  There is humor, sometimes overdone. There is decent acting, nothing spectacular.  There are special affects, almost overdone, especially the fights in space.  There is a story line, but it is a cliche.

The two bright spots are the music, and Rocket.  The music keeps the movie from being boring, and the CG that creates Rocket is amazing.  Sadly, the song noted above does not appear in the film.

Next time, I need to listen to my gut and if it says wait for the DVD, then I will wait.  Three cigars out of five for this one.

 

Personal by Lee Child

513JFKFmN7L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Six Foot Five, Two Hundred Fifty Pounds In Italics?     **

 

Really!  Either the author or the publisher decided when describing Jack Reacher to put his height and weight in italics.  Somebody is embarrassed about Tom Cruise portraying Jack and is trying to re-establish the character as a force to be dealt with.  After all, if Tom Cruise walked into a room would you be scared or laugh?

This isn’t Lee’s best, nor his worst Reacher novel.  Maybe close to his worst, Worth Dying For.  The plot is thin, the descriptions are too much like a travelogue, and the ending was not much of a surprise.  Actually, the ending stretched believability by about six feet five inches.

For some reason, as I have seen in books by other authors, Lee Child referred to one of the main characters, Casey Nice, by both names over and over again, as if readers might forget it. One reason this was an issue is the book is written in first person and Jack Reacher would not have kept using both of her names.

Having read all of the Reacher novels, I, like many others, keep saying enough is enough, this is my last one.  But, alas. we all keep coming back.  Guess the best way is to wean myself slowly, so the next one will be an e-book, save myself about $6.00

The Second Coming: A Love Story by Scott Pinsker

The_Second_Coming-_A_Cover_for_Kindle

 

When A Fiction Book Is Nonfiction        **

 

This is an interesting approach to writing.  The author has written what he is calling a fictional account of the second coming. What this really is is a dissertation listing all the sides of the debate over which is the truth of Christianity.  Taking no side himself, Pinsker gives us all the arguments from those who feel Christ is the sole gateway into heaven versus those who take a more inclusive view.

Couched in a fictional narrative are all the elements man has debated for centuries regarding the meaning of life and whether or not there even is a god. The problem here is, had it been published as a nonfiction treatise, it might have some merit.  As fiction it is neither a compelling read nor a page turner.  One of the irritating parts to the story is that as the author tells us of the conflict between the two camps of belief, he has a narrative running in the background regarding the original fall of Satan.  Bringing in a combination of biblically-based information and all the myths that have been added over the years, the author inserts this narrative in a way that most of the time is jarring to the reader most of the time..

By not drawing his own conclusion, Pinsker at least makes one think.  If you have never thought about religion or the possibility of god or the meaning of life, then this might get you to dig a little deeper.  It doesn’t resolve any of those issues but it does cover most of the points in a discussion.  As for being a good work of fiction, the author leaves us disappointed.

Two stars for fiction, three for nonfiction.